The remains of a fortification built about 550 years ago have been found in central China's Hunan province, said archaeologists on Wednesday.
The walls, resembling the Great Wall, stretches 18.4 kilometers on hills, with 12.3 kilometers well-preserved in the Yuanling county, Huaihua city. About 0.6 to 0.7 meters wide and 1.2 to 1.3 meters tall, they were built in the Ming Dynasty during the reign of Emperor Xianzong (1464-1487).
There is evidence that people have settled in and around Yuanling for 2,200 years. It was a political, economic and cultural center of west Hunan.
Guo Weimin, head of the Hunan provincial institute of cultural relics and archaeology, noted that the walls might have been used to mark the boundaries between different settlements.
Archaeologists also found evidence of four military camps near the walls, as well as tombs, quarries, and a training ground.
"The walls were built for defensive purposes in the Ming Dynasty. The ruins are one of the largest military sites in Hunan," said Yang Zhiyong, an associate research fellow with the city museum of Huaihua.
He told Xinhua that the walls would help research into the history of China's unification.